I really love compiling lists like these, it really makes me contemplate the songs (or whatever the list is based upon) and also in a way review the year that was~
So the list!
Starting at number 8 because there are a lot of 'ties' so the numbers are a little funny haha.
Hopeless Valentine - NELL
So this year has opened my eyes to the most amazing band Nell. They are definitely climbing up the ladders of my favourite artists and their album Slip Away released this year truly explains why. The overall foreboding and melancholic emotion within the music and the lyrics immediately draws my attention and if I could, all of the 10 songs of the album would be here but alas, there can only be 10 of the top 10 of 2012 ^^
Onto number 7!
This song is more of a revival than a new song of 2012. It's
Hana - Alice Nine
You may argue, Hey that song was released in 2009 but you know what...I actually didn't like it so much when I first heard it. It was only after really getting into Alice Nine Channel and the 'lovely' staff's efforts to continuously play the song that I really got a better feel for it. Ironic I know but that's me ^^
Number 6 (should be an Alice Nine song just for the symbolism but.....) is
Angel - EXO-M
And yes, I am biased. I definitely think that the Chinese version sounds better than the Korean. It just has that feeling of jarred fluidity. Oxymoron I know but I somehow think that works really well, and their voices stack so well~ What is Love is also great but probably hitting top 15-20 ^^
Number 5 this song, although is recent ticks all of the right boxes for me and it's
UZA - AKB48.
I'm not the biggest AKB fan. I love Namida See-Saw Game, Beginner and Heavy Rotation and a few others but UZA really shone out for me this year. I love the intensity of it and how it's quite different to their other music. While some of their other songs I can sometimes feel are too "choir-esque" UZA seems to make a really intense song with the choir overlay and the cohesion of voices they're know greatly for ^^
Off to number 4 which is a tie between
The Chaser - INFINITE
Let me just say (as an "Inspirit") WOW! The song still has the INFINITE style electro-pop background with the MV a host to their great dance sequences (Which I admit are not as intense as Be Mine or Come Back to Me). Their mini album I actually own and really love all of the songs contained on it. They are varied but still have that similar INFINITE/Woollim feel to them ^^ Kinda homely~
Lonely - TOXIC
Now don't let the name of this two-man Korean rock band put you off, they are AMAZING. Especially for their member numbers ^^
The whole mini album First Bridge is great. I really love their mix between Electronic and Rock and it creates a really intense debut. The composition is great as none of the tracks feel out of place and the main title track, Lonely is just amazing. I love tempo changes in songs and I love them especially when they are executed well (see a little later ^^).
Number 3 is also a tie, by 2 songs actually~
The first song is...
Beautiful Stranger - NELL
Wow, how do I explain this song....
It's harbours emotions of that of loneliness and also, what I think at least, of hope and a sense of wonder. The sweet irony of the song is that love is hopeless but the song makes it out in a very bitter sweet NELL style way~
The Day Before - NELL
The title track for their album Slip Away has to be one of my favourite songs of the year, if not all time. The beat is feels like a car hanging off of a cliff which could topple over anytime whilst the lyrics (although I understand virtually no Korean) are hauntingly beautiful and once I read the translation really stuck in my head The depth of the layers of the song, from the heart wrenching Violins straining like the fleeting life in the MV to the beat and tempo which stays virtually constant till the song reaches it's climax repeating "This is all that I can say". I really cannot express enough praise for the song, band, compilation of MV, album and track listing and also Woollim for giving Nell their long awaited (and totally worth it) comeback.
And the song is performed just as good if not better live!
I just love it and the album and their new single too which just didn't make the list but I still harbour intense love and 'feels'.
At number 2 are two songs by the same artist~ Can you guess who?
Le Grand Bleu - Alice Nine
This song became one of my favourites after I heard the live version, that is the Tokyo Galaxy Live version and wow did it skyrocket up to my top songs. I love songs that have an edge, and not only does this song have an edge but it's clean and sharp and has amazing force. I love songs that send shivers down your spine (as all the ones in my top 10 do ^^) and especially songs which send reverberations into your body. I love feeling all of the dimensions of music and this song just exemplifies them.
The second song vying for number 2 is
SuBeTe E - Alice Nine
This song, the title track to their 2012 album 9, has been played so many times, on my; computer, laptop, ipod, in mum's car, everywhere. I love it!
It not only has a tempo change, but a really effectively used one. The tempo change gives the songs a climax point and the intensity of Nao's drumming gives the song the ooomph to push it till the end where it not only draws the sing but the whole album 9 to a very solid close.
At first place is a song that holds a very important place in my heart and it's
Corona - Alice Nine
Let me explain myself. This year I purchased the limited edition version of Zekkeishokku and I love it. Not only aesthetically but also the songs compiled on it. There's nothing typical, nothing generic, everything is pure Alice Nine goodness ^^
My favourite song on the album (if not favourite song of all time) is Corona.
As an opening piece to the album, it totally blows my mind away. Its serene but the tempo change gives it so much energy. The serenity is so joyous and overwhelming it really pushes me onto the brink of tears.
This song embodies what I love about music and in that it really defines the reason as to why this song is my favourite song.
Not only looking at this song as a part of a masterpiece of an album but also from an artist who truly paints with musical notes and their instruments. The soft beat from Nao's drumming really exemplifies Shou's voice and Tora and Hiroto's guitars. With that Saga's bass really really brings it all together and mellows the whole song a solid few notches giving it it's not only serene feeling but also it's sense of awe.
If I had a time machine, the first thing I would do would be to go to Alice Nine's Tokyo Galaxy Live to hear Corona (and Le Grand Bleu) live. Not only to hear the songs themselves but to be in the arena where the emotions of the band are cast upon the audience. That's what I truly want to feel. I want to hear, taste, smell, touch and see the music, and yes it is possible ^^
So that encompasses my favourite songs of 2012 and a (I hope not boring) background as to why they made the list.
I'm very excited for 2013, in the musical scene as I can already hear rumours of comeback singles and what not, many of which I'm deeply anticipating~
I'm going to make another post tomorrow about my favourite products of 2012 so please look out for it ^^